SCOTT Watters could be called a little height-disadvantaged, so most of his players would have looked like giants when he arrived at St Kilda to take over the coaching reins from Ross Lyon late last year.
But it still seems a little remiss of him and the Saints to go into the 2012 season with just one experienced specialist ruckman.
That's right, one - Ben McEvoy. There is also young Rhys Stanley - who has played 17 games, albeit showing more promise as a key forward - but that's it, on an entire senior list of 38.
Of course, it's now bitten St Kilda on the "you know what", with both McEvoy (knee) and Stanley (hamstring) sidelined for the next few weeks.
The Saints are not about to throw in untried 200cm rookie-listed Jay Lever, so are using 197cm forward Justin Koschitzke and 190cm utility Jason Blake at ruck contests.
The situation has led to Watters calling for a return of the long-abolished mid-season draft, and he has been backed by rival coaches such as James Hird (Essendon), Damien Hardwick (Richmond) and Brett Ratten (Carlton).
The mid-season draft would certainly benefit clubs with mounting long-term injury lists - and open doors for those players performing well in state leagues and maybe even those already listed but wanting greater opportunities, depending on whether trades were part of the deal.
However, it really should be up to a club to get its lists right before the season starts through the use of the three drafts we have already - the national, pre-season and rookie. It's half the battle, half the fun.
On top of the senior squad are the rookie spots - as many as eight, and now open to accommodate more mature back-ups, and not just genuine "rookies' under the age of 23", as formally the case.
The mid-season draft, which was used for a brief period between 1990 and '93, and produced Sydney champs Daryn Cresswell and Dale Lewis, but few others, will be discussed at this month's AFL coaches' conference.
Sore, but soaring
INTERESTING to note Collingwood and West Coast have not joined the chorus of support for the mid-season draft.
That they have been reinstalled as premiership favourites is testament to their incredible depth - and an indictment on their rivals.
The Eagles and the Magpies sit on the first line of betting with most bookmakers, despite them suffering arguably the worst run with injuries so far this season.
The Eagles have defied the fact they have missed their three leading goalkickers from 2011 - Josh Kennedy, Mark LeCras and Mark Nicoski - and experienced wingman Andrew Embley for the bulk of their games, to remain perched atop the ladder. LeCras (knee) won't play at all this season, though Nicoski (hamstring), Kennedy (ankle), and Embley (shoulder) should make it back deep into the second half.
The Magpies were written off by most footy watchers (including yours truly) after they suffered a 10-goal beating at the hands of Carlton in round three - their second loss in three weeks compounded by hard-working midfielder Luke Ball joining Andrew Krakouer and Brent Macaffer with a season-ending knee injury.
But credit where credit's due. Collingwood has since won its next six games, while as many as seven of its best 18 have been forced to look on from the sidelines, including gun on-baller Dane Swan (hamstring) key defenders Nathan Brown (knee) and Ben Reid (quad), for certain periods.
While the Eagles and Magpies have lacked players, contenders such as Hawthorn and Fremantle have simply lacked ticker.
Sure, the Hawks have missed skipper Luke Hodge, and the Dockers would love to have Nathan Fyfe, but that is no excuse for those teams sitting eighth and 10th respectively.
FALLEN STARS - Big-name players who have had, or will be having, lengthy layoffs
BRISBANE: Brent Staker, Matt Leuenberger.
CARLTON: Andrew Carrazzo, Chris Yarran, Marc Murphy.
COLLINGWOOD: Andrew Krakouer, Ben Johnson, Ben Reid, Brent Macaffer, Dane Swan, Lachie Keeffe, Luke Ball (left), Nathan Brown.
FREMANTLE: Nathan Fyfe, Anthony Morabito.
GEELONG: Daniel Menzel, Nathan Vardy, Travis Varcoe.
GOLD COAST: Brandon Matera, Jarrod Harbrow, Nathan Bock.
GWS: Jonathan Patton, Setanta o'hAilpin, Dean Brogan.
HAWTHORN: Max Bailey, Luke Hodge.
MELBOURNE: Liam Jurrah.
PORT: Robbie Gray.
ST KILDA: Ben McEvoy.
SYDNEY: Adam Goodes, Shane Mumford.
WEST COAST: Andrew Embley, Josh Kennedy, Mark LeCras, Mark Nicoski.
BULLDOGS: Dale Morris, Tom Williams, Lindsay Gilbee.